On the Buses at the Movies is a feature length documentary that celebrates the 50th anniversary of this classic British comedy film series. On the Buses was released in 1971, with Mutiny on the Buses the following year, and Holiday on the Buses in 1973. The films, like the long running television series, quickly became a firm favourite with audiences around the world.
On the Buses at the Movies features contributions from cast and crew, who tell the story of how On the Buses first came about, how the actors developed their iconic characters and the inside story of how the films were made.
- We hear from actor Reg Varney, who played Stan Butler, Anna Karen, who played his sister, Olive, Andria Lawrence, who played Turnaround Betty and Stephen Lewis, who played the ever popular, and ever frustrated, Inspector Blake.
- Writers Ronald Chesney and Ronald Wolfe recall how On the Buses was turned down by the BBC, which is what led them to ITV, where the series became a huge success, its popularity persuading EMI and Hammer Films to make the first film, which also went on the become a smash hit.
- We talk to Roy Skeggs, Hammer Films’ production supervisor, and we hear from Brian Reynolds and Phil Campbell, who worked on the first two films, On the Buses and Mutiny on the Buses.
- Steve Luxton, who heads the official On the Buses Fan Club, shares his passion for the films, gives us unique insights into the films and the actors, and shares some of his extensive collection of memorabilia.
- Dean Sullivan, managing director of Sullivan Buses, tells us about the buses that were used in the films.
- And film historian and author, Morris Bight MBE, explains the history of On the Buses and provides unique insights into the production of each film, their enduring appeal and their longstanding impact on our popular culture.
Special thanks go to Morris Bright MBE for allowing us access to his rare archive interviews with Reg Varney, Anna Karen, Stephen Lewis, Roy Skeggs, and writers Ronald Wolfe and Ronald Chesney, all of which were recorded in 2002, which are being seen here for the first time.
Today the films are still regularly shown on television in the UK and abroad. Their unique British humour continues to attract audiences of all ages, some of whom remember the films from when they were first released, while others are a new generation of fans. The On the Buses films were hugely popular 50 years ago, and are still hugely popular now, their appeal showing no signs of fading.
On the Buses at the Movies is available to rent through our Video on Demand channel, click on the link in the trailer at the top of this page or follow the link here to watch the film: On the Buses at the Movies